Road Cycling Costa Blanca - CIrcuit of the Aitana Mountains

Vuelta de Aitana

Abdet - Alcoleja - Puerto Tudons - Sella - Finestrat - La Nucia - Callosa D'en Sarria - Guadalest - Abdet

80km. 1600 - Metres of Ascent

This ride takes in the amazing descent from Puerto Tudons - a route often taken by the Tour of Spain - follow the wheels of some of cycling's greats.

This route can be cycled in either direction - it is a great challenge either way. We describe it here in an anti-clockwise direction.

Leave Abdet and cycle out towards the CV 70 and take a right turn toward Alcoy. You will soon warm up on the long, but never very steep, climb past Confrides to the Puerto (col) de Confrides at 966 Metres. On cooler days it is worth taking a windproof for the long decents. The descent towards Benesau is 5km of alpine style switchbacks. Shortly after passing Ares del Bosque take the left turn to Alcolecha, an old stone built mill town and one of the highest towns in the area.

The twisting road now climbs all the way to the route's high point, the Puerto Tudons at 1000 Metres. You may well recognise some famous Vuelta de España names painted on this section of road. Keep an eye out for tigers, lions, etc on the next section as you get good views into the large Aitana safari park on the right hand side. You will soon be absorbed in another exhilarating descent though, this time all the way down to the village of Sella. This is a good point for a cafe/bar stop and there are several along the main street that have great views from the balconies.

Although our map shows a road connecting back to Guadalest from here this is mainly an unsurfaced and somtimes rough track (great on a mountain bike though). Leave Sella and continue descending until the left turn to Finestrat drops down to cross the river and climbs back towards Finestrat. You now get great views of the Puig Campana, the areas most distinctive peak. Head on through Finestrat (good cafe stops possible here) and the road climbs gradually to a col between the Puig Campana and the Sierra Cortina.

A swift descent now follows to the junction with the CV 70. On this less scenic part of the ride there is a cycle path to one side of the road which may be worth utilising as the traffic can be quite fast. Carry on along this road passing many roundabouts and ignore the first sign to Guadalest - instead carry on toward La Nucia and once through this busy town take the road the Callosa D'en Sarria (again ignoring a sign for Gualadest). You now drop down to cross the Rio Guadalest and then up to Callosa. Follow the signs for Guadalest this time (turning left at a roundabout). It is now 20 kms of climbing back to Abdet, but it is never steep and the scenery is enough to take your mind off it! There is a "tourist trap" as you cross the Rio Guadalest again and this is a good place to get a snack to help you up the remaining climbing. This is a truly great section of climbing as the road twists and turns, always at a gentle, but steady gradient. In the spring you are likely to see quite of a lot of groups on this road, including top amateur and professional teams.

Guadalest , the 'Eagle's Nest', enjoys one of the most spectacular locations of any village in Spain, set high up on a pinnacle and carved out of a mountain top in the midst of truly stunning scenery. It has a population of only 200 but is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain. It is well worth a look around if you have the time (or energy!).

Click here for the Aitana Circuit Gallery

You are on the final section now - in Spring the scent of the almond trees is something you will remember. In the summer months you could finish your ride by cooling of in one of the local open air pools.

map - distances are in km's

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